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It Had To Be You... The Great American Songbook

324 customer reviews

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  • It Had To Be You... The Great American Songbook
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  • Stardust - The Great American Songbook: Volume III
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  • As Time Goes By…The Great American Songbook Volume  II
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 22 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00006JL4J
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  DVD Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,114 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. You Go To My Head (feat Dave Koz)
2. They Can't Take That Away From Me (feat Arturo Sandoval)
3. The Way You Look Tonight
4. It Had to Be You (feat Michael Brecker)
5. That Old Feeling (feat Arturo Sandoval)
6. These Foolish Things (feat Dave Koz)
7. The Very Thought of You
8. Moonglow (feat Arturo Sandoval)
9. I'll Be Seeing You
10. Everytime We Say Goodbye (feat Dave Koz)
11. Nearness of You - Rod Stewart
12. For All We Know
13. We'll Be Together Again
14. That's All

Product Description

Rod Stewart's mellowing years have neatly coincided with a commitment to smart ballad choices and a generally warmer musical persona. Rod the Mod liberated at last? Like many a pop singer, Stewart returns here to what's become generally known as the Great American Songbook, that evergreen body of mid-20th century songcraft that continues to inspire singers across oceans and generations. It's said that Stewart has been vocalizing many of these songs in private for years, and given the warm, human scale of most of the performances here, it's not hard to believe. Producer Phil Ramone's spare, unobtrusive arrangements inspire the singer to some of his most subtle and rewarding performances in years. Stewart's slightly weary vocal tack handsomely suggests the smoke, booze, and aching heart that lie at the best of these songs. Such back-to-the-future efforts can often sound like a last career gasp; here, they seem a refreshing breath of fresh air. --Jerry McCulley

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD

Rod Stewart was born Roderick Stewart on January 10, 1945 in Highgate, London, England. He initially started as folk singer in Europe in the early 1960s. He later joined Jeff Beck Group (1967-1969), Faces (1969-1975), plus solo recordings during this time. He left Faces in December 1975, and since then had an illustrious solo career. He has 57 charted entries on Billboard Hot 100 (from 1970 to 1999), with 4 No. 1 singles (Maggie May (1(5)/1971), Tonight’s the Night (1(8)/1976), Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? (1(4)/1978) and All For Love (duet with Bryan Adams)(1(3)/1993). He has 42 charted albums on Billboard 200, with the most recent release Time peaking at No. 7 in 2013.

His album releases in the late 1990s were getting a little stagnan. Then, he switched label to J Records, and rejuvenated a new peak in his recording career by recording the Great American Songbook series. Here, he used his raspy voice and gave his interpretations to those old standards. In other words, you get a new feel to those beloved oldies from the 30s and 40s. There are 5 volumes, and they were all selling well:

Volume 1: It Had To Be You (4/2002)(J Records 20039)
Volume 2: As Time Goes By (2/2003)(J Records 55710)
Volume 3: Stardust (1/2004)(J Records 62182)
Volume 4: Thanks For The Memory (2/2005)(J Records 69286)
Volume 5: Fly Me To The Moon (4/2010)(J Records 76609)

Plus two similar releases: Still The Same…Great Rock Classics Of Our Time (1/2006) and Soulbook (4/2009).


It Had To Be You: the Great American Songbook Volume 1 has 14 songs. Although the song listing is in the website, I have added information about original versions (artist, chart position and year), plus personal comments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7 2004
Format: Audio CD
Rod Stewart is a performer for all musical eras and he proves this with his latest offering. For more than 35 years he has been at the forefront of musical trends and this album is no exception.
With "It Had To Be You" Rod demonstrates his musical prowess, and once again leaves his critics dumbfounded. He effortlessly moves between musical styles and is at the head of a pack of artists leading the way back to the wonderful tunes from the Great American Songbook. The musicianship demonstrated on this CD is wonderful and the song selection and production are impeccable. You may not agree with Rod's interpretations of these tunes, but there is no doubt it is definitely Rod Stewart. This is just another side of him as he heads in a different direction. His tasty interpretations of these classic tunes are proof that a great talent has no bounds and these beautifully written tunes are truly timeless.

If you are in the mood for some bigger, brassier, swingin' versions of tunes from the Great American Songbook, I would also recommend Monte Procopio's new CD "Swingin' With Style".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd McWaters on Oct. 23 2002
Format: Audio CD
Initially, I cringed when I first learned Rod Stewart was to release a CD of "standards". How could Rock-n-Roll's most unique voice opt for this particular venue? Rod is a rocker, not a Sinatra or a Bennett! Surely it would be a travesty for rock, as well as a slap in the face to all the legendary performers who had originally introduced these timeless standards. Admittedly, as a lover of both genres, I was skeptical; now, I'm happy to say I was wrong. In retrospect, it is only appropriate that he now explore this type of music as an artist.
Over a career that spans almost 40 years, Rod has sang rock, blues, R&B, soul, ballads, pop and most recently, hip-hop. Now we are offered Rod Stewart as crooner. The transition has been a long time coming. After hearing "Songbook", one has to admit it is also long overdue. Originally, some, like myself, may be erroneously tempted to confine Rod to a specific genre. Unfortunately, when one often thinks of Stewart, visions of the "rock star"...the loud clothes, spiked hair and raucous onstage antics immediately come to mind. In fact, it is these very perceptions that have overshadowed his career and misled so many, particularly Stewart's critics over the years. The image has for so long obscured Rod's true talent, his uniquely amazing voice, which has always been his greatest asset.
On "The Great American Songbook", it's ALL about the voice. Rod Stewart's voice is now truly showcased as never before. The familiar raspiness is still there, yet refined, mature and smooth as silk. When listening to this new release, one would almost think that these songs were originally written with Rod in mind. His delivery is passionately sincere and hauntingly valid.
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By Matt on July 17 2004
Format: Audio CD
Times change, people change, and people change with time. There seems to be a new crop of music out their. New artists like Steve Tyrell, Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Just to name a few. Who've brought back a sound from a different part of time. Maybe songs our parents listened to when they were dating or just got out of high school. But Rod Stewart? We all remember the raspy sound of the throat busting rocker from his days of fame when we hear Maggie, Hot Legs, or a hit he released in the last decade like Forever Young. This is a different type of music though and from a different era. You have to like this kind of music to appreciate it. I find it to be a very refreshing turn in music being released compared to others today like RAP. If you like RAP, you won't like this. The other has nothing but a beat and lyrics of violence, crime and hate. This music has a soft, relaxing tone to it. A gentle guitar or saxaphone in the background. We all remember the names of that era where this music came from; Ella Fitgerald, Jo Stafford, Sinatra, Bennett, the list is endless. You could take one song from this CD and see it was done by more than a dozen differnt artists back then. This CD brings the music to a new generation that's never heard it. They probably don't know what a 12 inch vinal record is either. In fact I'll bet there's a few young folks out there that have listened to this a couple of times and told theirself, "You know, I like this music." This is a CD you'd like to put on when you invite that special someone over for dinner or just chat and sit out on the porch with each other and look at the moon and stars. I hope this trend of bringing old music back continues. We need more companionship in our life today.Read more ›
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